Decked out in Armani, Lotto and even their own creations, the Italian players Fabio Fognini, Francesco Passaro, Sara Errani and Lucia Bronzetti will add a bit of seasoning (and definitely fashion) to the usual mix of players. Grab your Prada bag, your Gucci sunglasses and set out for the seven hills with our best bits of Rome during the ATP 1000 Rome (or anytime really)…
The Italian Open is the fifth of nine ATP 1000 Masters and WTA 1000 events (Europe has four of them) in the course of the year. Only the Grand Slams have more points, money and prestige. Visit grand architecture, dine on fine food, see the stars build momentum for the French Open and engage in some night time debauchery – and then seek a papal blessing.
The All Court Tennis Club’s pick of racquets clubs in Rome are the Circolo Parioli and Circolo Aniene. If you’d like to sample these clubs with one of our members in Rome or bring a friend, drop shot your email below and we’ll set you up.
Circolo Parioli is a prestigious tennis club situated in the elegant residential Parioli neighbourhood, nestled amongst a maze of tree-lined streets and lush gardens (including the Villa Borghese Park, one of Rome’s most beautiful gardens open to the public). After hitting on the plus 20 courts or taking a dip in the pool, your appetite will be up and it won’t be disappointed in Parioli which is a big player in Rome’s gastronomy scene. Visit the traditional and well-loved Ambasciata D’Abruzzo for traditional Roman cuisine before walking it off in the Borghese Gallery amongst the art of Bernini, Caravaggio, Canova and Raphael.
Psst…member tip: One of our Roman members told us to keep this under our visors but we can’t resist. Top five best places for an aperitivo in Rome and frequented by locals includes Duke’s which is situated in the Parioli neighbourhood. It’s also a good spot for lunch or dinner with a bit of music (and possible dancing) on Fridays. Happy hour is 18:00 – 20:00.
A slightly smaller but no less premium club in Rome is the Circolo Aniene Tennis Club bedded in the tranquil green surrounds of the Aniene River. The club boasts six tournament standard red clay courts and indoor and outdoor swimming pools. The club was initially a rowing club, founded in 1892, a testament to its proximity and long standing relationship with the city of Rome and the Aniene river which gently flows past the club and then joins the Tiber in northern Rome.
The Italian Open is one of the most sought-after tickets on the way to Paris. In 2023, the Italian Tennis Federation awarded yet another wild card to one of the most iconic Italian players of modern era, Fabio Fognini who boasts most victories of any Italian man in the Open Era, highlighted by the biggest win of his career over No. 1 Murray at the Foro Italico in 2017 (and repeated to knock out the former grand slam winner in round one of 2023)! Two years later, in 2019, he became the first Italian ATP Masters 1000 champion, beating Nadal for the third time on clay. Turning to the women’s, in 2022 Ons Jabeur — from near that other ancient Roman City, Carthage, Tunisia — came close to capturing the title, but the reigning WTA No. 1, Iga Świątek kept her crown.
Built between 1932 and 1938 for the 1940 Olympics — ultimately diverted to Helsinki before being cancelled — the Foro Italico (once the Foro Mussolini) offers competitors 15 clay tennis courts and the Stadio Olimpico, a 10,500 arena that opened in 2010 to replace the former centre court. The proverbial Court No. 1 is Stadio Nicola Pietrangeli, renamed in 2006 after one of Italy’s best tennis players. With a capacity of 3,720, this court is surrounded by 18 marble statues, depicting Olympic athletes. Beginning life as the “Olimpico della racchetta” (Olympic Racket Stadium), it hosted one of the first Davis Cup matched between Italy and Switzerland in 1934.
Can you get tickets? You bet. Although often sold out, our ticketing concierge has deep networks to make sure our guests have the ultimate tennis experience… if you’re interested in procuring tickets for this incredible tournament in the Italian capital, please simply serve up the basic details below:
Of course, in the capital of Catholicism, the Vatican museums followed by St Peter’s Basilica, beckon the fervent and the agnostic. Skip the lines with a private tour guide. Besides the other must-sees (the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain), for art-lovers you’ll want to dig into the Galleria Borghese Museum. Simply walking around Rome’s central streets in the vicinity of the Pantheon is a treat and a constant (in a good way) history lesson. Take a load off with a refreshing beverage adjacent to this most preserved monument of Ancient Rome and watch the world go by.
To quote another of our Roman members who loves to shop in one of the very best cities in the world for shopping (see our Madrid ‘postcard’ for another such city) : “Shopping tips are easy! Just split it by areas of Rome to cover walking distances. It’s all good!”
- Centre/centre storico: From Piazza del Populous to the Spanish Steps, then to Navona, passing through the streets Via Condotti (check Galeria Alberto Sordi), Via del Corso/Via Del Governo Vecchio (vintage)/Via dei Coronari (for antiques) / Giubbonari (funky jeans).
- Colosseum area/monti: The shopping street to be is Via del Boschetto.
- Shop like a local (and close to the Vatican area): Cola di Rienzo (brands and small boutiques).
AND BE MERRY
We’ll start with the drinks and finish with the eats. The merry part is up to you.
- St Regis Lumen: very pleasant on a Tuesday and Thursday night for drinks and listening to music.
- Emerald (Prati area): a cocktail bar for those looking for a more lounge experience.
- Salotto 42 (in the centre of a beautiful square, Piazza di Pietra): a place for cocktails amongst the splendid architecture.
- L’Ingegnio: a nice restaurant right next door to Salotto 42 if you want to have dinner before or after the cocktail!
- Aperol alert: try one at the Hotel del Russie, you won’t be disappointed. More on that later.
Coffee culture: Drinking coffee is an art from in Italy. Don’t sit down at a piazza for coffee, do it like a local. Order an espresso shot at the bar and have it standing. Best one is at sant’Eustachio il Caffe’, which makes for a pleasant short break whilst shopping in the centro storico area.
We’ve mentioned the little L’Ingegnio program above. Because our members are discerning travellers who like feeling immersed in the city with local experiences (which we think is the best way to travel), we are going to give you a golden list of in-the-know recommendations from our local All Court Tennis Club members from Rome. It’s a short, sharp list, (trust us), rather than a blow by blow account of each restaurant to avoid typing blisters on our index fingers. We need them for tennis! It gives you plenty of options to delight your senses in the city of Rome.
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- San Lorenzo
Trattorie (local, smaller restaurants serving traditional food):
- Il Moro
- Felice a Testaccio
- Arancio d’Oro
- Taverna Trilussa
- Zi Umberto
- Dal Toscano
Pizza (pizza ;)) :
Stellati (Michelin Stars):
- Il Pagliaccio
Gelato (you must “ice-cream” in Rome):
- Neve di Latte
The All Court Tennis Club partners with hotels around the world, providing our members with unique benefits such as preferential rates and perks. If you’d like to become a complimentary member of the All Court Tennis Club (and we’d certainly like that!) visit our membership page here.
We like the Rocco Forte hotel group generally, and in Italy especially. We partner with their Sicilian tennis (and golf (and beach)) resort, the Verdura Resort in Italy for example. Their Hotel Russie in the Italian capital is one of our picks for a drink in Rome, but you should also experience a night or two here if you can. Its unassuming exterior belies the treasure trove that awaits within, with the lobby exuding an air of understated luxury. Marble floors, ornate chandeliers, and carefully curated artwork whisper stories of the city’s rich history.
For those seeking unparalleled views, the suites at Hotel Russie are the way to go. Picture yourself on a private terrace, sipping a glass of fine Italian wine while gazing out over the iconic rooftops of Rome. The panoramic vistas of the city’s landmarks, including the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo, paint a breathtaking backdrop that amplifies the romance and allure of the Italian capital.
You can start your day with breakfast at Le Jardin de Russie, a courtyard oasis adorned with vibrant flowers and cascading vines and the hotel’s opulent spa, situated in the ancient ruins of Rome’s stone theatre, is a special indulgence after those long shopping and sight seeing walks.
OUR MEMBER RECOMMENDATION
The above Rome ‘tips and picks’ come from longtime resident of Rome and All Court Tennis Club member, Maria Jakus, a macroeconomics statistician and financial advisor who knows what she’s talking about in most things! We thank her for it, and commend them to you. Romans and visitors to Rome, we salute you!